Autumn in Los Angeles can feel more like summer’s other half; usually just as, if not hotter, than the months before. But don’t let the Indian Summer upon us get you down this fall! LA is bursting with autumnal opportunities – from Halloween scares to food and drinks fests to pumpkin picking. So put on that lightweight jacket, swipe on a little sunscreen, indulge in a nice iced pumpkin spice latte and hit the scarcely leaf-scattered pavement for some fall fun.
1. Season Specialties
Ah, Knott’s Berry Farm…the rides, the elephant ears, the fog, the zombies jumping out at you from seemingly nowhere…wait, what? The good ol’ theme park by day turns ghoulish by night with a dense, dark fog and more than 100 types of monsters lurking in the shadows and numerous scary mazes.
See the Tim Burton Halloween classic like never before this fall season. You’ve likely seen Jack and the gang several times over the years, perhaps even in 3-D…but now you get the enhanced experience with said ’4-D Sensory Effects,’ like fog, wind, and snow.
2. Autumnal Arts
Explore the archives of LA’s creatives from the 40′s through the 70′s…everything from political and pop art to photography of the times, this will be an extensive and educational look into the city’s past.
Every fall in LA, the American Film Institute and Audi come together to bring you the nation’s longest running international film festival…the AFI Fest. Taking place during the first week of November (1st-8th), filmmakers and film junkies alike will join for red carpet galas, screenings, tributes and more in Tinseltown.
3. Fall Festivities
Ale, Bier, Biiro, Cervesa…whatever language it is, the world loves itself some BEER. So this October 19-21, participate in all of the buzz-worthy fun at Oktoberfest LA. Sample tons of different libations from around the world, soak it up with some good grub, and sing and dance along with like-minded, Lederhosen-wearing folk!
While the NHL is enduring their preseason lockout, the NBA is gearing up to bleed purple and gold here in LA! Go see Kobe, Dwight Howard…and Metta World Peace kicking ass and taking names on the court this season. Preseason starts October 7th…then the action officially begins October 30th.
4. Country Bumpkin
Get your fall on with a cornucopia of events going on at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, CA. This festival features a choice pumpkin patch, corn mazes, hay rides, haunted houses, and more…starts this Friday, September 28.
Want a spooky spin on the typical autumn hayride? Look no further than LA’s Haunted Hayride, held at the site of the old Los Angeles Zoo. They’ve extended the ride for even more excitement, and in the interim, you can creep through their Dark Maze, the House of Mirrors, or the “Scary-Go-Round.”
5. Local ‘Haunts’
Think most haunted houses are rubbish or too fabricated? Then it’s about time to go see the real deal. Downtown Los Angeles is teeming with spirit infested tunnels, old hotels…and theatres. The Variety Arts Theatre has been closed to the public since a chilling black magic disappearance in the 1930′s. Now, you can walk the corridors of one of LA’s most supernaturally thrilling spaces, where the producer of Paranormal Activity and Insidious has created his sinister vision and reenactment of what happened there so long ago.
Head on down to Long Beach to the old Queen Mary to experience what it’s like to be between the devil and the deep blue sea. It is said that this old vessel has housed up to 150 different types of spirits, with at least 49 known deaths occurring aboard ship…so it’s up to you to tell which frights are real and which are just a part of the show…
6. Surf’s Up
September through November are legendary months in Southern California for surfers…the water is somewhat warm still AND the waves are epic. So grab a board, sex wax it up and paddle out! Here are some of our favorite spots:
This is a great surf spot for the whole spectrum of experienced riders. Both Malibu beaches are directly next to each other…so while you’re just learning, you can ride the whitewater at Heavens while your seasoned surfing friend paddles over to Staircase.
This beautiful beach offers wave after wave of goodness, ranking #24 among the 100 best surf spots in the world. Gifted with perfect, long riding waves along it’s point…the only downside is that it’s a little bit of a drive north of LA towards Santa Barbara.
7. Foodies Unite
We can’t think of any three things that go together any better than fine wine, bold cheeses, and rich chocolates. Get a spot at this year’s tasting, held in Downtown LA’s Eat Drink Americano restaurant.
What do KISS’ Gene Simmons, Wolfgang Puck, and entertainment moguls AEG have in common? Apparently they all love Oktoberfest, too. The power trio has cooked up an event at LA Live that is completely based around the Bavarian celebrations, replete with craft beers, Wolfgang puck creations, appearances from Gene himself, and live music. The kickoff to this begins October 15 and goes through the October 20.
8. Shop ‘Til You Drop
On the last Thursday of the month, vendors, pop up shops, and fashion trucks will gather near the Fashion Institute in Downtown LA for an awesome sample sale, with many items starting as low as $10.
Are you perpetually stuck in the past? Longing for a time that has passed, or at least want to emulate the look of that era? Then head down to A Current Affair, LA’s best pop-up vintage marketplace. Browse clothing and accessories from up to 30 vendors whilst sipping an old timey cocktail and swaying to the sounds of KCRW’s DJ, Marion Hodges.
9. Crisp Concerts
Don’t miss one of modern day rock’s finest as they play two nights, back to back at the Staples Center. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have come a long way since their days of Akron garage rock…now, along with openers Tegan and Sara, they will be rocking out for thousands.
Grab tickets now and prepare for what is sure to be a feast for all your senses – your favorite KCRW DJs, live band performances, the velvet underworld of Vaudeville Circus Troupe Lucent Dossier, ghost stories from L.A.’s finest storytellers, food trucks, some of the best costumes you’ve ever seen and more…
10. Day of the Dead
Olvera Street celebrates Dia de los Muertos with several days of festivities featuring piñata breaking, children’s workshops, face painting, strolling Mariachi bands and Ballet Folklorico. Enjoy colorful, ancient Mexican ceremonies in honor of departed loved ones with beautifully decorated altars, entertainment and Novenaria processions.
The 2012 Dia de Los Muertos festival at Hollywood Forever Cemetery is the largest celebration of its kind in California. This year’s event will reach back to the pre-Aztec roots of Dia de Los Muertos and explore the Mayan Gods, rituals, and calendar.